Rhetoric & Composition I: Winter Quarter 2013 Rotating Header Image

Op-Ed Project

Genre: your choice — Op-Ed piece for the New York Times or a conventional academic essay (St. Martin’s section 59)
: Readers of the New York Times or academic readers
Learning OutcomesRhetorical Knowledge; Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing; Knowledge of Conventions; Processes
Length: 1250-1500 words
Due Dates

  • Thursday 10/4: Statement of Purpose
  • Tuesday 10/9: First Draft
  • Thursday 10/11: Peer Editing Feedback; Workshop Participation
  • Tuesday 10/16: Final Draft

Take a position on an arguable issue that we’ve encountered or that you’ve come across yourself. According to our St. Martin’s Guide (section 9g):

An early step in an argument intended to convince or decide is to make a statement about a topic and then check to see that the statement can, in fact, be argued. An arguable statement has three characteristics:

  • It attempts to convince readers of something, change their minds about something, or urge them to do something—or it explores a topic in order to make a wise decision.

  • It addresses a problem for which no easily acceptable solution exists or asks a question to which no absolute answer exists.

  • It presents a position that readers might realistically have varying perspectives on.

The genre you’re working in is the persuasive essay. Our St. Martin’s e-Handbook is very strong in this area, and we’ll be using it at every point along the way in the planning, drafting, revising, and proofreading stages of your project’s development:

Rhetorical Situations

Exploring, Planning, and Drafting